Why do you love your church?

I Love My Church Plain copyThe Bible says, “Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her.” (Eph 5:25) Jesus loved the church so much He paid the ultimate price for her, His life. Understand, this is God laying down His life for the church. This is God dying for the church. This is the Creator sacrificing Himself so that you and I could become part of His church and ultimately spend all of eternity with him. Is there any doubt in your mind how much Jesus loves the church?

So how about you? Do you love the church? Do you love your church? I’m talking about the church you call “your church.” I mean your church “home?” Do you love it? How much do you love it? Even more so why do you love it?

I love the church because it provides an avenue for me to show Christ to the community. It gives me a place to invite my friends and neighbors so that they might have a chance to connect with Jesus also. It helps me grow to all God wants me to be. It is a place of strength when I am weak and encouragement when I am down. I could keep on and on but I would rather hear from you.

Whoever you are, whatever church you are a part of sound off. Why do you love your church? Come on, shout it out. Tell it to everyone, or at least to the few who read this blog. Don’t hold back. Why do you love your church? Hit “comment’ and let err rip.

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Eight days without the computer

So here is the struggle I faced as we prepared for our vacation a couple weeks ago—computer or no computer. The places we were staying at had internet connections besides there are countless ways to connect, even in the remote areas of Maine and Nova Scotia. It wasn’t that I couldn’t connect.

But could I go without connecting even when I could? Could I find something to fill my time with that did not involve a computer in any way? Would it be the most boring time of my life? Was I destined to communication in a whole different realm?

Well, I opted to not just not use my computer. I didn’t even take it with me. I left it in the closet at the house. I knew it (the computer) would be lonely but I also knew it was not welcomed on this trip.

After a couple days of mental and lifestyle readjustment I actually enjoyed not accessing the many outlets of computer life. I learned a lot about what was possible without the internet. I had more time to enjoy the wonders of life and people in a real way. And I learned how to talk with my wife in a more meaning way than I had for awhile. I have to say that I got to the point of liking life without the computer. And the vacation ended up being the best experience we have enjoyed together in years.

So, tell me, could you go eight days without the computer in your life. What feelings do you have at the very thought of such a thing.

Hangin out with God

You know the Adam and Eve story. God created the first man, Adam, and woman, Eve and blessed them with the finest living arrangement the world has ever known, the Garden of Eden.

Of course, it all came with a responsibility, “Don’t eat of the forbidden fruit.” They did and it, needless to say, upset God. So the bible says that when they “heard the sound of the LORD God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the LORD God among the trees of the garden.”

And ever since that time we have been upsetting God and attempting to hide from Him, as if we ever could.

I have a better suggestion. How about devoting some time, instead of hiding from God, to hiding with God. How about running away with God rather than running away from God.

I write this from hiding. I am hiding with God in a place that is safe, secure and secluded. I am listening to Him, talking with Him, and enjoying His presence. I am hanging out with God for an extended period of time.

How long has it been since you hung out with just God? Think about it, if we become like those who we spend time with, wouldn’t it be to our advantage to spend more time with God?

Where did it all come from?

While on vacation we stayed at the most “romantic” and quaint B & B about twenty minutes from Halifax, Nova Scotia. It was unlike anything we have ever experienced before. I just happened to have a picture of the cove that we looked out across in the morning when we awoke. Of course it wasn’t like that every morning. Some mornings the fog was too thick to see the edge of the water. PICT0050

The proprietor of the B & B was a man named Jim Edwards. Jim was an early sixty’s retired company president who decided to do the B & B with his wife for their second career. The only problem was that his wife unfortunately was diagnosed with ovarian cancer and passed away three years ago. He is now left to carry on their dreams together—alone.

Needless to say, Jim was an agnostic when it came to God and maybe a little bit of a skeptic. That at least gave him the ability to discuss God subjects. One morning he happened to ask what kind of work I did and I said I was an entrepreneur. He said in what field. I said church planting, I am a church planter. That opened the door to at least explore God, in his cautious and guarded manner.

That particular day we were headed off to an area of NS called Peggy’s Cove. I’ve thrown in a few pictures to let you see what the area was like. It was breath taking, nothing like anything we had ever seen before. I want to do an entire post on the beauty of Peggy’s Cove but I’ll save that for another time.

Before we left the breakfast table Jim said, “Since you are headed off to Peggy’s Cove today I would be curious as to your explanation for all you see at the cove. How do you think this all came about.” Now, Jim is an extremely intelligent person. He is well read and very articulate on his positions. He is a very sharp thinker.

He had just put me to the test and I had to see if there was any sharpness to my thinking. Did I have an answer for him? Was my answer reasonable? Was it believable? Was it enough to plant a seed in the mind of an agnostic? How would you have responded to the unexpected invitation to extend God and at the same time defend your faith? The last thing I wanted to do was come off preachy or super spiritual or sounding like some kind of a weirdo.

So I thought and sighed a silent prayer and began to explain. Having never seen Peggy’s Cove, with only an expectation of grandeur in my mind, I began, “I think there could be one of two explanations for what you find there. One would be the great flood described in the Bible. If the entire earth was covered to the top of the highest mountain as described we have no concept of the way in which the waters changed, shaped and altered the face of the planet in a short period of time. Much of what you see at Peggy’s Cove could have happened as a result of the great flood.”

I continued, “The other possible explanation would be that God made it just the way you see it. If God made a mature Adam and Eve it is conceivable and highly likely that He also created a mature earth and that what you see there is much like it has been since the creation. If God created a mature earth then all the resources found within the planet were deposited there from the beginning by the creator. Sure, they have developed since then, but much of what we discover on planet earth was part of the original creation.”

His response was interesting. He looked at me and asked, “Is that the belief of most people in your position?” (Pastors) I said, “Probably some but certainly not all.” Then, as the discussion concluded he acknowledged, “It’s an interesting theory. I’ve never hear that before. I won’t say that I accept it, but it is different and interesting.”

Here are a few pictures of the Peggy’s Cove area we were discussing.

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